Missing the point PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 05 December 2018 13:22

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

As I’ve said, this P500 million-plus flyover project that will serve to ease, NOT SOLVE, traffic congestion at a very small portion of Tetuan highway and Gov. Camins, has become a highly-charged political issue that it has lost its argumentative value.

A project of the national government through the Department of Public Works and Highways, Mr. Celso L. Lobregat, the lawman from the first district of Zamboanga, has anchored his tirade on Madam Climaco-Salazar and the city councilors wearing pink as being OBSTRUCTIONISTS for opposing the project by way of carrying out dry-run to determine the practicality of the project. The obvious result would be that the project is IMPRACTICAL and a WASTE OF PUBLIC FUNDS.

What the PINK PANTHERS are asking, short of demanding, is for the DPWH to WIDEN that portion of the road where the flyover would be constructed to allow more travel space for vehicles to pass below it. They are not opposed to the project. They made that clear.

The proposed project is NOT SAYANG. It will push through. But why the rush by the RED BRIGADE? We will not lose the budget for the project, because all unimplemented project this year will be carried over next calendar year. So there’s no fear of losing the amount. PORQUE APURAO, hijos de Rojos?

Madam Salazar’s lackeys and mouthpieces — as they are branded by the lackeys and mouthpieces of Mr. Lobregat — have time and again asserted that the city government isn’t resisting nor diametrically opposed to the project. They want the project done if it is the solution (but it’s not) to the traffic woes in that particular section of the city. There’s more traffic gridlock in other heavily-used roads in the city like Veterans’ ave, Gov. Lim and, come to think of it, Nuñez st. (at certain time of the day). Soon, La Purisima st.

Clearly, there was no feasibility study done ahead of the project funding. For example, does the DPWH know the number of vehicles that ply the concerned routes at a particular time of the day? How many private automobiles, PUJs, PUBs, UVs, trucks, tricycles, motorcycles, pedicabs and bicycles, not to mention pushcarts, are using the road in question, say, from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.? This is a call for the Land Transportation Office to make, right? Bear in mind that only privately-owned automobiles will be allowed to use the flyover. What a privilege for the well to-do. Will that considerably slice the volume of vehicles using that thoroughfare? Can that flyover withstand a Magnitude 7 earthquake in case a dreaded temblor happens? Far fetched, you say. Who would think that part of the San Francisco bay bridge would collapse during the great earthquake that struck California, or that the Ruby Tower in Ongpin would crumble? Again, the question: why the rush? We are dealing here with motorists’ passions, their unrestrained emotions when they hit a traffic snarl that can lead to a stroke.

Zamboanga has experienced many twists and turns — in law and order and infrastructure development. In more than 30 years, we have gained little momentum because our leaders have matured slowly. They kept on quarreling — more so now, because of political greed. We have not developed a plan, although proposals have been submitted, to find a road to real development suited for our specific conditions. How many projects in the past fell short of specifications?

Madam Beng should create a situation in which the drive for modernization will press ahead in every field of endeavor. The transfer of the airport is the most essential ingredient that will spur economic development for our city. She is trying her best to work out a magnificent program of government.

Experiences gained, I suppose Madam Beng has deepened her understanding of economic construction as she carries out with greater insight the future of Zamboanga. This will undoubtedly speed up the pace of Zamboanga’s development. Because she is the mayor, she represents the aspirations of the Zamboangueños and the migrants. And they know that these goals, ambitious as they are, are credible and attainable.